CATES , J. Fred - Fountain County INGenWeb Project

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CATES , J. Fred


Source: Lafayette Journal & Courier Tuesday 19 Sept 2000 p 18

Covington – J. Fred Cates, 94, of Covington, died at 3:35 a.m. Sunday Sept 17, 2000 in St. Vincent Williamsport Hospital. He was born May 22, 1906 in Wabash Township and was a life-resident of Fountain County. He began school at Stringtown attended Cates school and was a 1924 Wallace HS graduate and received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Indiana State University. He later earned a master’s from Indiana State in physical education, mathematics and social studies. He taught for 36 years, beginning at a one-room school on Silver Island. He taught at Cates, White, Rabb, Kingman, Veedersburg and Covington schools and also taught mathematics courses at Danville Area Community College.  He served as principal at Perrysville Junior High where he also taught. He retired from Fountain Central HS and served 8 years on the Covington Community school board. In addition to teaching, Mr. Cates coached basketball at Perrysville 4 years; in 1948 and 49 his team only lost one game. He also farmed for 20 years. In January 1927 he married Twila W. Wann and she died May 6, 1989. He later married Wilma Myers Wilkerson and she died in 1994. Mr. Cates was a Navy veteran serving 27 months. During his service he taught diesel mechanics at Navy Pier in Chicago and University of Illinois before serving overseas. His memberships included West Liberty Church of Christ, Fountain Warren Retired Teachers, Indiana Retired Teachers Association, Wabash Senior Citizens, Veterans of Foreign Wars of Covington, American Legion of Perrysville and Farmers union.  He was a founder of the Fountain County Taxpayers Association and played a role in creating the Covington Senior Citizens Center. He also was a d’Arlier Community Service Award recipient. There are no immediate survivors. Services are today in Covington. – kbz
Source: Fountain County Neighbor Tuesday Sept 19, 2000

Covington -- J. Fred Cates, 94, Covington, died at 3:35 a.m. Sunday Sept 1,7 2000 in St. Vincent Williamsport hospital.

He was born May 22 1906 in Wabash Township and lived all his life in Fountain County.   He was the son of Prior (Cap) and Lillie J. Spinks Cate s.   He married Twila W. Wann January 1927, she preceded in death May 6, 1989.  He married Wilma Myers Wilkerson, she preceded in death in 1994.

His schooling began at Stringtown , continued at Cates School and graduated with the class of 1924 from Wallace High School.  After high school an uncle approached him and offered to help put him through college in Terre Haute, and with this help, and working in a restaurant to earn room and board, he graduated from Indiana State University with an elemntary education major.

He began his teaching career in a one room school house on Silver Island, with about 25 students in attendance.  Soon he was drafted into the Navy at the age of 36.  There he served for 27 months, teaching diesel at Navy Pier in Chicago and at the University of Illinois before serving overseas.  After service he returned to college to earn in a year alone his masters degree.  Majoring in physical education, math and social studies.   His first love was teaching math.

He coached basketball and taught at Perrysville for four years.   His best years were 1948-1949 when his basketball team lost only one game.  While teaching, coaching and serving his country, he was also a farmer f or 20 years.  But with teaching being so important to him, he turned his f arming operation over to his close friend, Arthur Clawson.

In 37 years of teaching, it took him to Cates, White, Rabb Schools, Perrysville Junior High, back to Cates, then on to Kingman, Veedersburg and Covington schools.   He was principal of Perrysville School.   He also taught some math classes at Danville Area Community college.   he ended his te aching career at Fountain Central High School.    He served on the Covington community School Board eight years.

Approximately 34 years ago he founded the Fountain County Taxpayers Association.  He was the first to see the need for the Covington Senior Citizens Center.  With his efforts, the help of good friends and donations he helped to make this happen.

He was awarded the d-Arlier Community Service Award by Luke White.  He was once quoted as saying "You may not always agree with Fred, but you've got to admire his tenacity and dedication."

His travels were extensive,   Alaska four times, Hawaii four times, Europe, South America, the Pacific, Greece, Japan, the Great Wall of China, and all over the U.S. Some of Fred's most memorable trips were the senior h igh school trips to Washington DC and other places.

He was a member of the Fountain Warren Retired Teachers, Indiana Retired Teachers Association, Wabash Senior Citizens,  VFW of Covington, American Legion of Perrysville, Farmers Union and West Liberty Church of Christ.
Surviving is a niece in California.   He was also preceded in death by four brothers.

Funeral services were at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Shelby Funeral Home, Covington, with Pastors Randy Walters and Tom Dougherty officiating.  Burial w as in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Covington, with military services at the grave. - this wonderful obituary from Betty Dotson

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